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Author Topic: Helmets  (Read 2851 times)
Master Chef
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« on: May 29, 2011, 06:14:53 pm »

The Bundeswehr has made few sudden large changes in protective headgear since it's inception. It has constantly made improvements as time progresses and feedback is applied to the design process. The categories below are very loose as far as time periods go, but they give you an idea what to look for.



The Bundeswehr was formed in 1955, absorbing elements of the BGS (Bundesgrenzshutzes or Federal German Border Guards) and choosing to copy the US M1 Helmet for their troops.


From 1955 to 1958 the German Army used a direct copy of the M1 helmet with a 2 piece liner called the "zweiteilig" . These are a little tough to get your hands on, but are on par with US helmets as far as wear-ability and protection go.


Next came the M60, put into service in 1958. This pattern took the M1 shell and added a M31 style liner to the helmet itself, eliminating the separate  US style liner completely. Here are pictures of 2 M60s, with the first and second pattern liners:



On the outside, they are nearly identical to the US M1. The only way to spot these (and later pattern German Helmets) are the Rivets which attach the liner to the shell.



Once you see the inside, however, these are clearly different form the US M1 and direct M1 copies (such as the Danish and Belgian M1 clones)

In 1961 the Bundeswehr introduced the M1A1 LL , the "Luftlandestruppenstahlhelm". Designed for parachute operations, this helmet has an improved liner and padding inside, as well as a better chinstrap.





You can clearly see the rivets on the shell, and the padding inside. Also the chinstrap which has 2 additional leather straps that attach to the rear of the helmet to better support it on the wearers head.

Next came the M1A1 M62 Helmet. These Helmets came in 3 shell sizes and are similar in shape to the M60, but feature a "Removable" (Replaceable) liner. This helmet was in service from 1962 until the end of Steel Helmets in Bundeswehr Service in the 1990s:





 In February 1981 the model M62 helmet had been in service with the Bundeswehr for nearly 20 years, and in line with the modernization of the Bundeswehr around this date, the m62 was given a new interior, an upgraded 3 point chinstrap, and a unique plastic neck protector. This modified helmet was supplied to all branches of the bundeswehr, and is known as the "M1A1 M81 Modifiziert Stahlhelm".





Here you can clearly see the Neck protector at the Rear of the Helmet.

THe Bundeswehr recognized the shortcomings of the Stahlhelm in the mid eighties and began working on a Kevlar helmet which was introduced in 1992 as the "Gefechtshelme M92".



The Helmet was also issued alongside the new flecktarn helmet cover, the first officially in use with the Bundeswehr. Earlier covers were custom made or commercially sourced in Ameoba or Splinter pattern, and there are records of 80's era Bundeswehr troops fitting any foreign covers they could find to their steel helmets (Specifically British DPM and American Mitchell pattern covers).

As for sizes, all steel German helmets have sizes marked in the front of the helmet shell.



Each cover is also sized, and marked to determine whether it fits the steel or kevlar helmet. The helmet covers are reversible, one side Flecktarn, the other "Schneetarn", or snow camo. Helmet covers will be marked on the snow camo side with the size and either an "S" or a "G", for "Stahlhelm" or "Gefechtshelme". Covers marked "S" will not fit the Kevlar helmet, and vise versa!

Note: Newer models of the Kevlar helmet cover will be reversible to "Wustentarn" (desert camo)




This cover is for a steel helmet size 57-61.



The Helmets use European sizing so rough equivalents to sizes would be:

 BDU Patrol Cap size         US Hat Size            European Hat size

      X-Small                         6 3/4                            54
       Small                              7                               56
     Medium                          7 1/4                            58
       Large                           7 1/2                            60
      X-Large                        7 3/4                             62


This is a very rough estimate, best way to make sure your helmet will fit is to measure your head in centimeters. When searching for these helmets, don't forget to try the search term "paratrooper" in addition to your search terms. These regularly show up listed as that for whatever reason.

All photos courtesy of warrelics.eu.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 05:20:05 pm by Master Chief » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 05:51:19 pm »

This is the kind of stuff that needs to make it on the website.

Excellent writeup with pics!
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 12:15:23 pm »

Just an illustration of how easy it is to get these usually, I was bidding on one on ebay yesterday. Good condition M62,cover included. Went for $17.49. Someone outbid me with 30 seconds left or I would've gotten it.
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 02:38:29 pm »

Excellent write up on the helmets again.

I just ordered $200 worth of BW gear from Hessen Antique and I should have checked their FB page before ordering because for June, they have a 15% off coupon code (HA11SSVCP).  When I tried to change my order right after I placed it and realized this, it said the order had been processed and it wouldn't let me change it and therefore add the code, grrrrr.

Just FYI so you all can save and dont share my fate.
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2011, 03:29:28 pm »

Never bid on Ebay until the last 30 seconds! You'll be showing your hand to other players or bidders! Unless it's  buy now!  Wink

I'd email Hessen with the FaceBook link and your order number. I don't know why thay wouldn't give you the 15% if it's an offer open to everyone. All they can do is say no after you contact them.
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2011, 09:40:48 am »

Hey, im new to the bundeswehr and i cant find a good place to buy a german helmet.  I dont want to order off of ebay is there another good place to buy a german miilitary helmet for this time period?
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Master Chef
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2011, 09:45:22 am »

I've got 2 shells in size 57-61 that I am trying to source covers and liners for. Price will $15-20 if you can wait until I get everything together and mounted. Otherwise ebay is the only place I see them go for less than $40 or so, for whatever reason they are unreasonably priced at normal online retailers.
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aswayze
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 10:15:51 am »

I have some covers upstairs, no dice on liners from my end though. 

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Master Chef
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2011, 10:48:10 am »

I've got 2 of the steel pot covers here as well, but they are both 55-57 which on't fit the shells even after a hot soak and with force. I have a source for the liners, I just need to convince him to check the sizes because I don't need $20 worth of assorted liners, I need 2 in a specific size.
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2011, 04:48:36 pm »

http://www.ebay.com/itm/West-German-Bundeswehr-Infantry-Helmet-/110787571396?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash=item19cb742ec4

Posted 5 Dec 2011.  Decent looking steel helmet.
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 04:17:12 am »

An observation.....the German helmet liners (starting with the 2nd pattern M60 style) look very much like those used with the WW2-era Stahlhelms (M35, M42, etc) and the Czech M52 helmet (old or copied Soviet Sch40's with an adjustable German-style suspension).  Might be possible to fix up old shells with "repro" Wehrmacht suspensions/liners, which also attached directly to the shell with rivets.  Someone with more experience than I with the later helmets would need to look and confirm their correctness though, as I might be missing a key detail.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 04:18:54 am by fallout11 » Logged
Master Chef
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2011, 08:37:29 am »

That is pretty much it, although Hessen Antique has the liners meant for these for sale for $5. Problem is that if you find a sheryl there is usually a pretty good longer in it already, and it is more modifications than I want to think about to put those into "normal" M1 helmet liners.
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2011, 10:12:25 pm »

Warning 22 pages of rambling and discussion of old helmets that nobody remembers; cool to read if you are a die hard collectors.
http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/showthread.php?t=251101

Interesting bit in there about BW soldiers using whatever helmet covers they could get during the beginning issue of flecktarn.
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Master Chef
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2011, 10:18:10 pm »

Oh yes, mitchel pattern covers and DPM covers were the most popular.
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2012, 06:57:52 pm »

I've read that good prices can be had on the BW helmet on ebay. However, I've only seen PASGT helmets for cheap.
That being said, what is a good price for a BW helmet? I've seen some on ebay.de for around $100 shipped, and keepshooting has them for $90.
Or, is the PASGT acceptable? I doubt it, but I read that the BW helmet is loosely based on the PASGT.
BTW, anyone who wants the German designation: Gefechtshelm Schuberth B826, according to keepshooting.com
Thanks
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 05:19:19 am by SeawolfIV » Logged

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